Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Escape the Stresses of City Life with a Trip to the Country ; Katherine Vine Heads to Simonstone Hall in the Heart of the Yorkshire Dales to Enjoy Good Food, Fine Wine and Some Well-Earned Relaxation

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Escape the Stresses of City Life with a Trip to the Country ; Katherine Vine Heads to Simonstone Hall in the Heart of the Yorkshire Dales to Enjoy Good Food, Fine Wine and Some Well-Earned Relaxation

Article excerpt

ANIGHT at Simonstone Hall, set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, was enough to make me want to give up city life and move right into the middle of nowhere.

This country house hotel, standing in its own grounds, commands some of the best views there are of this breathtakingly beautiful part of the country.

I could have sat and looked at the view from our bedroom window all day, which stretched for miles around, but there was plenty else to be getting on with.

On the drive up from Manchester we stopped off at Aysgarth to see its famous triple flight of waterfalls, carved out by the River Ure over an almost one-mile stretch.

They are certainly spectacular, particularly when the weather has been wet - and let's face it, in Yorkshire as in Manchester that's a fairly common occurrence.

The walk between them isn't too taxing, perhaps just enough to make you feel like you've deserved a good lunch, and there are handy viewing platforms to get you close to the action.

Appetites whetted by a bit of fresh air, we headed to the nearby George and Dragon Inn in Leyburn for said lunch It is a lovely pub in a beautiful 17th century building, very traditional with plenty of interesting ales in the cosy bar, and the food was definitely something to write home about.

I ordered the traditional fish and chips, while my other half had a steak and ale pie, accompanied of course by a pint or two of the local ale of course.

The portions were very generous and incredibly tasty - the fish was light and crispy, and I can honestly say the chips were among the best I have ever had.

Suitably stuffed, we arrived at Simonstone Hall to a very warm welcome.

Our room was beautiful, complete with that amazing view, and a very good size.

It was tempting just to hunker down in the cosy bar, which has an open fire, but we decided we should go for a bit of a walk... though a flurry of snow soon gave us a reason to turn back.

The hotel is very popular with walkers, and if that's your thing you're spoilt for choice with routes ranging from the very easy, to those for the more experienced hiker.

And if you're of a less active inclination, the bar is certainly the sort of place you could while away an afternoon, with a good, and not over-priced, wine selection, as well as plenty in the way of teas, coffees and soft drinks. …

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